Shared Lives Plus have today published the latest State of Shared Lives in Scotland report. The report highlights some key statistics regarding Shared Lives across Scotland. The total number of Shared Lives arrangements in Scotland was 313 during the year to 31 March 2016. Shared Lives carer numbers showed a net increase of 24% on the previous year.
You can read the full report here
Today, Shared Lives carers met Rebecca Evans, the Minister for Social Services and Public Health to launch the annual Shared Lives Cymru State of the Nation Report 2017.
In Shared Lives, an older person can get support in a Shared Lives carer’s home, while they recover from ill-health, or after hospital treatment, or for a short-break when a family carer needs support.
This year’s report calls on social and health care commissioners to look at how they can offer Shared Lives support to older people, and those with dementia, because all too often older people are missing out on this valuable alternative to residential care.
Shared Lives carers are trained and regulated. They are matched with the older person, who needs care, so they can form a real relationship based on shared interests and experience. Having a home from home in their own community often helps an older person recover their confidence and regain independence. Once they have formed a friendship their Shared Lives carer will be there to help them cope with any health crisis in the future.
Shared Lives Chief Executive, Alex Fox, said: “Commissioners need to think more imaginatively about the services they offer, if we are to transform care in the way Welsh Government has set out in the Social Services and Well-being Act.
Shared Lives support helps older people, who often suffer more because they are isolated and alone, form a real relationship that can support them to manage even chronic health problems.”
The minister has given Shared Lives tremendous support in their campaign to bring Shared Lives services to older people and those living with dementia. She said: “Leading an independent and fulfilled life is very important to an individual’s health and well-being. Shared Lives enable some of the most vulnerable people in our society to stay in their communities and benefit from a supportive family home environment.
“We supported Shared Lives Cymru new initiative through the Intermediate Care Fund to extend their valuable support to older people, including those with dementia. By offering respite care in a home environment, older people will be able to be discharged from hospital more quickly and be supported as they regain their independence, or even avoid hospital admission altogether."
The Welsh Government awarded a further £242,460 under the Sustainable Social Services Third Sector grant from 2016-2019 to support this work to enable older people needing support to stay with a trained and regulated Shared Lives family, close to their own home and in their community.
“I would like to thank Shared Lives for the great work they do and especially the carers who open up their homes to make a positive difference to vulnerable people’s lives every day.”
Traditionally Shared Lives services have been used by adults with learning disabilities to support them to live full lives in the heart of their communities. Although not well-known Shared Lives schemes offer services across Wales.
You can read the full Shared Lives Cymru State of the Nation Report 2017 here.
Shared Lives Plus is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Chair of Shared Lives Plus is Richard Jones
Richard Jones - Chair
Richard is a passionate supporter of Shared Lives Plus having seen the difference it makes to people lives. Richard has been a Director of Social Services , worked for government and been a senior executive in the NHS.
Richard continues to be involved in social care and health through a range of consultancy work and as a board member of Scope, Anchor Trust and Action on Hearing Loss.
Richard is a keen walker and enjoys music and bird watching. He is currently learning to play the trumpet!
Andy Harvey – England Committee Representative
Ian Coleman - Treasurer
I read Economics at university and am an Accountant by profession. For 15 years I was the Finance Director of one of the largest metropolitan councils. I now have my own business advising on financial management and pension fund management. I am a season ticket holder at Manchester United, one of the rare breed who actually hails from Manchester. I have been an active member of the National Trust for many years. I have been a supporter of Shared Lives Plus and its predecessors for over 10 years.
Martin Ewing – elected (Scheme Worker)
Anne Marie McMenamin – Northern Ireland Representative
Martin Thomas – Wales Representative
Martin was elected to represent Wales on the Board of Trustees by the Shared Lives Plus Cymru Committee in 2014. Martin has worked with Shared Lives schemes since 2004 and is currently Business Manager for the South East Wales Shared Lives Scheme. He is particularly interested in scheme development and raising awareness of the Shared Lives model.
Claire Morphet – elected (Scheme Worker)
According to Claire Morphet, you can tell a lot about people by their shoes. If that’s true then she is sharp, elegant and of the moment. Unless of course she is wearing her ‘flatties’, when she wants to be practical and no nonsense, keeping her feet firmly on the ground.
Claire is the Family Based Support Manager at Heywood based social enterprise. PossAbilities CIC. After a number of roles working with people with learning disabilities, Claire took a career break to raise her two girls Mia and India.
On her return to work, she became a Shared Lives Placement Officer working directly with families, carers and people moving into Shared Lives schemes. She flourished in this role and now manages PossAbilities Shared Lives scheme and the Big Lottery funded Homeshare scheme.
She says “I became a Shared Lives Trustee because I truly believe in this unique model of support and want to help shape the future. I’m a normal Northern girl who doesn’t speak in jargon. There are those who ‘talk the talk’ and those who ‘walk the walk’. Where vulnerable people are concerned I’ll always want to be more of a do-er than a talker”.
Whether in Jimmy Choo’s or jogging shoes Claire will always stand up and be counted to help vulnerable people live they life they choose.
Phil Mayne – elected (Shared Lives carer)
Jane Hutchinson - elected (Shared Lives carer)
Mary Clewley – Scotland Representative
There are currently vacancies for two co-opted members. See vacancies section of the website for more details
You can see the most recently available minutes of the Shared Lives Plus Board of Trustees here
Previous Minutes are available here
My First Shared Lives Event
My first Shared Lives event last week took me to Chelmsford in Essex for the first time in my life. The day began with each person introducing themselves briefly. Sporting a name badge with the job title “Marketing Manager”, I thought it was best to come clean to everybody before we started that I hadn’t actually been promoted and that I was only in my second week.
Once introductions were over, Lyn explained how Shared Lives Plus membership works. It was interesting to gain an overview of how the membership can benefit Shared Lives carers and gave me an insight into how best to explain this to carers in future.
Next, Dianne Perry (Guideposts Director of Services) discussed some marketing approaches Guideposts have used. It was great to share ideas on how we could look at marketing Shared Lives effectively and what methods have been used in the past. Having the opportunity to see a final design of a poster from Guideposts which will be sent to print in the near future was also helpful. It made me think about different possible layouts, which I can take into my work with Shared Lives Plus over the coming months.
Dianne was followed by Sarah Butler (Guideposts People Involvement Co-ordinator). Sarah talked about the importance of consistently showcasing even the smallest of positive developments around Shared Lives, to help raise greater awareness at a local level. The Shared Lives Channel 4 national news coverage from May (Cathy Newman interview with Jacqui and Jason) was also praised for the publicity it has gained for Shared Lives on a national level.
The event came to an end with lunch and a chance to network. It was beneficial to hear what others thought of some of our current marketing materials such as Sharing magazine and how we might be able to develop these in future.
So, all in all my first event with Shared Lives Plus was one I really enjoyed. I learnt a lot about Shared Lives, saw a different city and met some great people. I look forward to attending similar events in the future and continuing to raise awareness of Shared Lives Plus.